Wednesday, February 29, 2012

ST leverages STM32 “DNA,” targeting budget apps

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND: STMicroelectronics has expanded its most successful and well proven STM32 portfolio of more than 300 micros. The STM32 F0 is an entirely new family of devices combining enhanced features with the ultra low-power ARM Cortex-M0 embedded processor for extremely cost-sensitive applications. The new microcontroller family bridges the gap for applications using 8- and 16-bit devices, enabling sophisticated high-end features in economical end products.

The ARM Cortex-M processor series has already revolutionized electronic product design by redefining familiar design tradeoffs such as performance, cost, power consumption, ease of use and scalability. By creating the STM32 and defining its DNA to include outstanding real-time performance, leading low-power efficiency, an amazingly diverse set of advanced peripherals, and a valuable ecosystem of development tools, ST has established the industry’s broadest and most successful family of Cortex-M processor-series-based-microcontrollers, which includes the world’s highest-performance Cortex-M4 processor-based microcontroller range available.

The new STM32 F0 family, announced today, builds on this DNA by using the well proven Cortex-M0 core, running at 48MHz version, and adding high-value features not available in competing devices.

“The STM32 F0 family extends the platform advantages of our Cortex-M processor-series portfolio, and enables customers to leverage STM32 DNA at a budget price,” explained Michel Buffa, GM for ST’s Microcontroller Division. “By combining best-in-class communication and control peripherals with the M0 core, the STM32 F0 series enables developers to deliver new solutions offering functions and capabilities traditionally associated with significantly higher price points.”

“ST was one of ARM’s lead partners for the Cortex-M3 processor, the first Cortex-M series processor, and has subsequently enhanced the ARM ecosystem with high-value products that leverage the intellectual property of ARM, ST, and numerous development-tool suppliers,” said Keith Clarke, VP, Embedded Processors, ARM. “The Cortex-M0 processor offers a perfect opportunity for 8- and 16-bit MCU developers to achieve the performance benefits of 32-bit, without sacrificing power or area, while adding the ability to seamlessly migrate to higher-performance Cortex processors in the future.”

The STM32 F0 further extends the STM32 portfolio, addressing applications previously served by 8-bit MCUs, while taking advantage of the STM32 DNA with a complete portfolio, full manufacturing commitment and budgetary price. The enhanced features of the STM32 F0 family include up to seven timers suited for controlling items such as heaters or motors, enabling a single device to control multiple elements in an induction cooker, for example.

The STM32 F0 series also integrates hardware support for Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) included in the HDMI interface. This simplifies design into numerous home multimedia devices, allowing connections based on the latest industry-standard protocols while leaving the microcontroller’s CPU, memory and peripherals free to perform other tasks. The CEC kernel can be independently clocked by a low-speed 32kHz external clock or internal 8MHz clock further reducing system cost. In addition, the STM32 F0’s 12MHz I/O toggle speed allows developers to build sophisticated control applications at lower cost and lower power consumption.

STM32 F0 microcontrollers are sampling now at the resale price of $0.95 for quantities of 1000 pcs to lead customers. Full production is scheduled for the beginning of Q2 2012, and the devices will be available in 32-pin UFQFPN32, 48-pin LQFP48 and 64-pin LQFP64 package options with 20-pin and 100-pin extensions soon to follow.

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